The Blood Matures

[Start: Book of Nod Fragment]

And you will know these last times by the time of thin blood

which will mark vampires that cannot beget

you will know them by the Clanless

who will come to rule

you will know them by the Wild Ones

who will hunt us even in the strongest city

you will know them by the awakening of some of the eldest

the Crone will awaken and consume all.

[end Book of Nod fragment]

[below text should be presented as an email]

From:                   volunteer4cashdn@magadon.com

To:                       beckettmnemosyne1@schreckNET.nod

Subject:               Opportunities in Santa Monica

Attachments:   MEvanis27.png

Most esteemed Dr. Beckett,

Let me congratulate you on your treatise. Your rational approach offers many valuable insights. If you’ll allow me to get personal for a moment, I must confess it heartening to see someone study the "signs of Gehenna" as I do (for many still consider thin-blooded so) without succumbing to superstition. I applaud you, sir.

[Margin notes in Anatole’s handwriting]

It was also wrong. But well written.

[Anatole margin notes end]

I call on you with a research opportunity for us both. Reliable sources tell me a young neonate by name of Maxim Evanis has Embraced progeny. However, I personally know Maxim and can attest she is of the 15th Generation. Her childe must then be the first of a new Generation! Unfortunately, I cannot abandon my work in North Carolina. Might I implore you to extend my invitation to Maxim and her childe? I'm sure they'll be eager to participate once they grasp the importance of my research. Indeed, Maxim has worked with me before and, though she left before her tests were complete, I found her an enthusiastic contributor.

I would not ask you to make such a trip without benefit to yourself. While Maxim was with me, I noted a crescent-shaped birthmark on her right hip. I also allowed one of my other research subjects to draw Maxim's birth chart, and she was born during a lunar eclipse. These signs combined, I hope, should pique your interest. If you are so inclined, they are found in Los Angeles. I believe you know where to look.

I have included a picture of Maxim's mark, as well as my last paper on thin-blooded.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Douglas Netchurch

[art note: Picture of a woman's right hip, bearing a distinct crescent-moon birthmark. She is wearing a medical gown, which is pushed aside just enough to show the mark.]

[above email ends]

[Start: research paper by Dr. Netchurch. Uses a clean and academic-looking font.]

Thin Blood Syndrome Reexamined

Greetings and salutations, most esteemed patron. Greetings to you as well, esteemed sponsors and fellow scholars. Without you, I would not be able to dedicate my life to researching the Cainite condition. You hold in your hand the fruits of my labor: a renewed treatise on Thin Blood Syndrome.

A Review of Previous Findings

For those of you unfamiliar with my previous paper, I shall reiterate my findings. I am ever unafraid to evaluate my work, and will note where I now believe I was wrong.

While we call the condition “thin blooded,” this is a misnomer. The blood of neonates and thin-blooded is no 'thinner' than that of elders. Indeed, the physical qualities remain the same. What seems to cause the weakening of blood is a less efficient use. Elders achieve more potent results with the same amount of blood. Additionally, I found that while an average neonate can use all of her blood, thin-blooded are unable to. A portion of their vitae remains unresponsive when called upon to fuel so-called "powers," heal wounds, or raise physical qualities. Their blood is not useless however, as I have found it diminishes upon rising: the "uncooperative" vitae is still used to fuel the reanimation of the body, but no more.

The thin-blooded I observed were also unable to create blood bonds, Embrace childer, create ghouls, or even maintain the ghoul I provided for them. It seems possible the Cainite strain is so diluted in these neonates that they are unable to pass it on. Unfortunately, I was forced to cut my research on this short, as continued failure began to take a toll on the emotional well-being of my subjects and my own ability to maintain the Masquerade.

Thin Blood Syndrome exhibits in higher Generations, rising from a minimal occurrence in the 12th to universality in the 15th. We find a similar increase, though never reaching universality, with the Caitiff condition. It would be erroneous to say one leads to the other however. Rather, I believe the thin-blooded and Caitiff conditions are symptoms of the same underlying cause: a too-large distance from the Clan founders.

Speciation

Patient Zero — or "Caine" — and his childer were "universal" Kindred, but we see different powers and weaknesses in the Third Generation. Furthermore, we see a similarly abrupt evolution in bloodlines. I believe Caitiff and thin-blooded are another such leap in our evolution. To wit, I mark these differences between the thin-blooded species and our own: minor resistance to sunlight (though not staking or other sources of damage, including fire,) a minor talent for prophecy, and a small aptitude in creating new powers. The latter in particular, has led me to believe we are dealing with renewed speciation. The Caitiff are the first step, as they lose their Clan characteristics. The thin-blooded are the next step: they gain new characteristics.

The Cainite Strain

I've not yet been able to pinpoint the source of our condition. Based on symptoms, I believe we are infected with a spiritual virus passed down through blood. Unlike living viruses, this spiritual strain is unable to mutate and is rendered weaker in each new host. We may have reached the end of the virus' viability in thin-blooded, as they cannot fully maintain the Cainite state.

Side Study: Our Natural State

The brief emergence of mortal metabolism in thin-blooded yields an interesting perspective on the Cainite condition. Traditional belief holds that Cainite bodies are dead while the virus reanimates us. If that were the case, however, the lapses in thin-blooded should result in them being dead for short moments. That they instead resume mortal functions, indicates our bodies are alive and the condition keeps them in a suspended state. However, the nature of the thin-blooded Embrace contradicts this. While a normal Embrace takes only moments, a thin-blooded might experience hours or days between receiving vitae and reanimating. During this time, she is effectively dead. I find this contradiction intriguing and have begun to document attempted thin-blooded Embraces. Unfortunately, research subjects are hard to come by as they themselves cannot Embrace and I have found only one sire who yields the desired result.

Resumed Metabolism and Dhampirs

I have documented the growth of hair and nails, returned mortal perspiration and tears. I also found traces of white blood cells in one subject's vitae and original DNA in another's. To ensure this was not pre-Embrace blood, I fully exsanguinated both subjects. Studying their vitae immediately after, I found no traces of white blood cells or original DNA, yet both returned a month later.

Lastly, three subjects experienced the return of menstrual periods or virile seminal fluids, allowing them to theoretically conceive mortal children called Dhampirs. The infection of non-Kindred by the Cainite strain has been documented before, from gestated hosts (creating ghouls) to unborn embryos (creating Revenants.)

[Margin notes in Aisling’s handwriting]

A gross oversimplification. Many other factors are needed to create a Revenant. So I'm told.

[Aisling margin notes end]

Given the interest my sponsors show in Dhampirs, I've studied this condition carefully. Using thin-blooded volunteers and purchased human hosts, I bred a single Dhampir. The child, whom I named Kadmon, is currently 11 years old. I shall test if his mutation breeds true when he reaches maturity. I already procured a mortal mate, and am currently securing a female Dhampir to test the viability of both pairings.

Thickening of the Blood

After allowing a group of volunteers to raise their Generation, they lost their increased resistance to sunlight, prophetic prophecies, and the ability to create new powers. However, they could now fully use their vitae, and create blood bonds, childer, and ghouls. In essence, they ceased being thin-blooded and became Cainites. Naturally, this method cannot be used to cure thin-blooded en large, but it does prove that a cure is possible.

I offer my lasting gratitude to my patron, who generously provided me with the legal means to run this experiment.

[Margin notes in Aisling’s handwriting]

Are we talking Sect-sanctioned diablerie here?

[Aisling margin notes end]

[Margin notes in Lucita’s handwriting]

What did you think the Blood Hunt is?

[Lucita margin notes end]

[digital post-it 'stuck' to research paper]

Dr. Beckett,

I encountered something remarkable during my research. It occurred with only one subject, a young woman named Matilde, so I haven't mentioned it in my paper. After all, a test population of one does not make for scientific results.

Matilde's sire was a confirmed Gangrel, but Matilde herself exhibited none of the characteristics. After feeding exclusively from animals for a week, she developed a way of communicating with them. The method, although less effective than your Clan's traditional method, exhibited qualities both raw and in line with the subject's personality. One night though, she displayed increasing signs of commonality with your Clan's powers. She's further developed in this way since, and has been unable — despite admonishments — to advance her own version. I feared she had made her way to the Cainite criminals provided by my patron, but tests show she is still of the 15th Generation. The only explanation I have is that her vitae spontaneously reasserted the markers of Clan Gangrel. In all my work, I've never encountered anything like this.

 Dr. Netchurch

[end digital post-it]

An Eye to the Future

I believe further experiments on the thin-blooded Embrace and their lapses of vitae shall help establish if the Cainite condition is naturally dead or alive. I'm also committed to finding Kadmon a suitable Dhampir mate.

As to the future of thin-blooded in our society, I remain convinced they have a place among us. Their new powers make valuable additions to our own, and their inability to create blood bonds makes them perfect vessels for elders with feeding restrictions. I emphatically do not believe them to be "portents of Gehenna" and implore anyone to treat them with kindness.

I would like to thank my patron, sponsors, and fellow scholars for their support. I also wish to pay homage to the thin-blooded volunteers who, after raising their Generation, had to be retired due to vitae-addiction. While they understood the necessity and agreed to it beforehand, their sacrifice remains great. Thank you, Thomas, Eugene, and Wendy. I attach their release statements as well as their last testaments.

                I remain respectfully yours,

                Dr. Douglas Netchurch

                Childe of Trimeggian

                Childe of Addemar

                Childe of Lamdiel

                Childe of Malkav

[end Print-out of research paper]

[below text follows in Beckett's DIARY script]

El Cholo Mexican Restaurant, Santa Monica, United States

I've never found any truth to thin-blooded as harbingers of Gehenna. Indeed, if they pose any threat at all, it's because they're mercilessly abandoned by their sires. Nor can I take this moon marked business seriously. As a favor to Dr. Netchurch, and since I'm in Los Angeles anyway, I've made inquiries.

Calling upon old friends, I've confirmed a number of thin-blooded have a makeshift Elysium of sorts on Santa Monica pier. I'll make my way there now to speak to them.

[above text in Beckett's script ends]

[The below sidebar should resemble a torn out encyclopedia entry in aristotle’s handwriting]

Acacia

Clan of the Moon (antitribu); *1985, #2012.

A. is a thin-blooded living under Jenna Cross' protection in Santa Monica. She appears to have the gift of prophecy. Though unable to trace her lineage, she claims to be a descendent of the Fifth Generation Addemar.

[Above encyclopedia entry ends]

[Art note: Acacia is of mixed hispanic and black descent. She is 27 years old, with relatively light hair and dark eyes. She is offering the viewer a sprig of acacia blossom.]

[below text PRESENTED as transcript of a recorded conversation]

[Recording begins]

Beckett: Hello, young Kindred. My name is —

Acacia: Beckett.

Beckett: I see my reputation precedes me. While I am not shy of my academic credentials, I am curious where you heard of me.

Acacia: I heard of you as a troublemaker.

Beckett: I'm not shy of that either. The question stands though.

Acacia: The voices told me.

Beckett: The...voices. You are of the Clan of the Moon?

Acacia: I don't know what that means.

Beckett: Are you of Clan Malkavian?

Acacia: I don't know what that means either. I am a descendant of Addemar.

Beckett: Clan Malkavian then. I am curious, if you don't know your Clan, how you know —

Acacia: I feel him. Addemar. Itching in my veins. Crawling behind my eyes. Laughing. Scratching.

Beckett: Fair enough. May I ask your name?

Acacia: Acacia. Like the whistling thorn.

Beckett: Acacia, I am here to inquire about—

Acacia: The childe. The girl that cannot be.

Beckett: Yes, about —

Acacia: Everything old must make way for the new. The third becomes the second, the second becomes the first. Fathers die so sons may live. We are all circles spiraling down to reign in hell.

Beckett: I —

Acacia: You are wrong. I am not of Clan Malkavian.

Beckett: If you are a descendant of Addemar, then —

Acacia: I am not of any Clan. Neither are you. The Dark Father was Clanless, but his grandchildren did not like that. They wanted something of their own. A pyramid scheme corrupting your brains. They failed with us. We hear them, but do not obey. We know the truth. You are not Gangrel, you merely think you are.

[Margin notes in Anatole’s handwriting]

Wrong, wrong, WRONG. She's in the pit with Him. With all of us.

[Anatole margin notes end]

Beckett: I never told you I was of — Do you know where I can find the girl?

Acacia: No. Speak to Guinevere of the Cross. [Rustle of paper]

Beckett: I will do that. Thank you for your ti — Why, thank you. This is a bloom of the acacia tree, is it not?

Acacia: To remember me by.

Beckett: I'm unlikely to forget.

[Recording ends]  

[END TRANSCRIPT]

[Start: pamphlet. It's typed in an easy-to-read font, but the paper is crumpled and stained like it's been carried around a lot.]

Outcast Survival Guide

I hope you're one of us if you're reading this. Or you're some asshole standing over the ashes of a kid you just killed. Jerk. I'll assume you're another unwelcome addition to the family.

So what are you? You got this far, so you probably got the gist already. You're a vampire. Except your blood is too weak. You don't suffer from the exact same curse as your progenitor. They call that being a thin blood or Caitiff, and it's bad. You want to blend in with mainstream vampires lest they kill you. Here's where you start:

1) Call yourself "Kindred" when you're around other vampires.

2) Don't talk about how you were turned. Mainstreamers turn in seconds. For most of us it takes MUCH longer.

3) That also means your creator (call him your "sire" when dealing with others!) probably thought you were really dead and left. Don't tell them that either. Say your sire got killed or you got separated.

Vampires: The Basics

Yes

Inanimate during the day (find a safe resting place!).

Sunlight is deadly (see ^).

Killed by stakes, decapitation and fire.

Resistant to bullets, but NOT bulletproof.

Drink blood to survive (human or animal).

Sometimes

Immortal. Unless something kills you.

Some of us can turn into bats or fly.

Some of us lack a reflection.

Some crosses hurt. Most don't.

No

Not repulsed by garlic, running water, roses, etc.

Old/stale blood does not kill, but it is less nourishing.

Dealing with Humans

Between mortal hunters and secret government programs, staying with humans is bad for you. Also, that thirst and desire you feel bubbling inside? It doesn't distinguish between friend or foe. That's bad for them. And if you don't accidentally kill them, other Kindred will. Best thing you can do for your loved ones is pack up and leave.

Dealing with other Kindred

At best they'll use you for their own purposes and leave you. At worst, they'll hunt, kill, or eat you. Only trust those that have proven themselves trustworthy — they're out there, but be careful.

Group 1: The Camarilla

You'll find a lot of Camarilla-run cities in North America, so you need to know how to handle them. They're an archaic, but VERY dangerous, old boys' network. It's set up like a pyramid scheme — you report to someone above you, he reports to someone above him, and so on. That means lots of strings and little freedom.

They adhere to six Traditions passed down through the ages. Do not get caught breaking them.

1. Masquerade: Don't let humans know about Kindred. This one is good for everyone. Stick to it even if you're not in a Camarilla city.

[Margin notes in okulos' handwriting]

Nice going with the pamphlet then, idiot.

[okulos margin notes end]

2. Domain: Don't encroach on another Kindred's domain. Since you likely don't know who lairs where, you're in trouble.

3. Progeny: Don't make new Kindred. Since your creator did, you're in trouble. And yeah, they visit the sins of the father upon the son.

4. Accounting: Creators are responsible for their children. Yours probably left you though.

5. Hospitality: Present yourself to the ruler of the domain you're in. Again, since you have no idea who that is, you're out of luck.

6. Destruction: Only elders (aka the high-ups in the pyramid) can call for the destruction of another Kindred. In your case they'll be happy to, since you broke traditions 2-5 just by existing.

Does that sound bad enough? When you break one of these rules, the Camarilla sends an assassin after you. His job is to find and kill you. If you broke the Masquerade by letting anyone know you're a Kindred, he'll kill them too.

[Margin notes in Aisling’s handwriting]

I've heard rumors of scourges working for a Justicar rather than Princes. They can pursue targets from one domain to another and kill with no accounting.

[Aisling margin notes end]

However, you MIGHT be in the domain of someone who isn't a complete ass and lets you explain yourself. Be extremely polite. If they tell you their title, USE IT. Even if it's something stupid. If they don't, stick with "sir" and "ma'am." Learn the traditions by heart. Promise you'll obey and be useful.

Group 2: The Sabbat

Another big group is the Sabbat. You see a lot of them in middle and southern America, but they're pushing up north. They're a bunch of bloodthirsty maniacs and worse than the Camarilla. They create new Kindred by "shovelheading": they turn you, knock you unconscious with a shovel, and bury you in a grave. If you dig yourself out in time, then congratulations: You join them and become a maniac too. If you don't: Just pray they kill you fast. Don't think you're good because you've already been turned: Shovelheading serves as their initiation rite, too. On top of that, they're religious nuts who believe thin bloods and Caitiffs are a sign of the apocalypse.

So what to do if you encounter them? Run if you can realistically escape (and be ABSOLUTELY sure of this). Otherwise, play along, and then escape.

Group 3: The Anarchs

They're not as stuck up as the Camarilla and not as dangerous as the Sabbat. Most of them don't believe in the apocalypse and they're not Clan-obsessed. I'd not go around proclaiming to be a thin blood, but finding a group of Anarchs is as good as it gets.

Group 4: The Independents

Some Clans prefer to keep to their own. If you were one of them, they would have picked you up already. You're either cat's paw or food to them.

How to tell the difference?

You can't. Not until they're up close and personal, yelling at you for breaking Traditions or hitting you over the head with a shovel. Nothing is more dangerous to a Kindred than another Kindred. However, they're also your only hope of not spending the rest of eternity alone.

What's Next

You were told where to go by the person who gave you this. Fly low until you get here, blend in with mortals (don't mingle), run when you even suspect trouble and ABOVE ALL feed where no one else does. That means skip the easy prey (assume they're earmarked) and go for animals if you have to.

We'll find you when you get here.

[end pamphlet]

[below text follows in Beckett's DIARY script]

Metro Local Line 70 Bus, Los Angeles, United States

[Art note: sprig of acacia blossom taped to the top]

Charming woman. I find the Clan of the Moon often possesses insights the rest of us lack. While talking to her was not exactly illuminating, it's given me food for thought.

Her reference to the old making way for the new seems to corroborate the theory of Gehenna being cyclical, similar to the poly-Gehenna theory Inyanga suggested in Chicago. Human civilization follows a pattern of rises and falls. Perhaps Gehenna is a natural mechanism to counter the static nature of our blood and the anachronism of elders, thus making way for our species to evolve.

The Book of Nod claims “our grandsires will break their fast on the first part of us.” This could refer to a cyclical onslaught of torpor, or another event removing elders from the board. The concept of new Generations replacing the old, also fits nicely with Dr. Netchurch's observation of naturally-thickening blood. Perhaps the elder Generations were once thin-blooded themselves. I shall mull on this.

In the meantime, I endeavor to find Guinevere of the Cross.

[above text in Beckett's script ends]

[The below sidebar should resemble a torn out encyclopedia entry in aristotle’s handwriting]

Jenna Cross

The Learned Clan; *1981, #2004. Childe of Smiling Jack.

C. came to the attention of Smiling Jack after she dropped out of Political Science at California State University. He made her his ghoul and Embraced her a year later, after an attack on C.'s life. Possibly due to the violent nature of her Embrace, she emerged as a thin-blooded. C. is rumored to bear a birthmark in the shape of a crescent moon.

[Above encyclopedia entry ends]

[Art note: The Gehenna novel claims that Jenna looks like 'the protagonist from tomb raider'. So uhm, make her look like lara croft from Angel of Darkness, legend, or anniversary (not the 2013 reboot preferable) without people going 'hey that's lara croft'.]

[below text PRESENTED as transcript of a recorded conversation]

[Recording begins]

Jenna: Beckett? Jack told me about you.

Beckett: Smiling Jack. I wondered where I recognized your name from. You were his ghoul.

Jenna: And now his childe.

Beckett: His childe…? Apologies for my confusion. I was under the belief you were a thin-blooded.

Jenna: I am. What of it?

Beckett: An 11th Generation thin-blooded. May I inquire how that happened?

[pause]

Jenna: I'll tell you. But I want something in return.

Beckett: I see you inherited Smiling Jack's directness. Tell me your story, and I'll decide if it's worth a boon.

Jenna: [Reluctantly] Fine. Jack says you're good, so I'll take your word for it. After the stunt Jack pulled, people came gunning for him and everyone around him. They got me and — I saw things. A churning black ocean. I don't remember it fully. I think I was dead. Then Jack pulled me back, but it had been too long. The Embrace didn't take — not quite.

Beckett: Why are you not with Smiling Jack now?

Jenna: He needed to leave. I wanted to stay. There's a bunch of us here. A lot of thin-blooded go online, looking to find other vampires. I try to find them before the Camarilla does. Build a safe place together.

Beckett: That's commendable.

Jenna: Someone's gotta do it. But it's getting harder. The Anarchs are talking shop with the Cams and — and things are changing and they'll draw attention.

Beckett: Such as?

Jenna: [Hesitantly] Guy named Ted. He's a shovelhead, got left behind during a raid. Lost his reflection a few nights ago, but he had it before.

Beckett: You think he is Lasombra and his Clan mark has returned.

Jenna: [Silence]

Beckett: I heard of a thin-blooded who created a childe.

Jenna: Maxim. I knew it. You want to take her. She's under my protection, so back off.

Beckett: I have no intention of taking Maxim or her childe, I assure you.

Jenna: [Silence]

Beckett: I am interested in talking to Maxim and her progeny, so I might verify their state for myself. That is as far as it goes.

Jenna: [Silence]

Beckett: Jenna, you're going to have to trust someone. The boon you bargained for — were you were going to ask me to keep Maxim safe? Are people coming for her?

Jenna: You have no idea.

[below text PRESENTED as transcript of a recorded conversation]

[Start: Book of Nod Fragment]

When the snows consume the earth

and the sun gutters like a candle in the wind

then and only then will there be born a woman

the last daughter of Eve

and in her there will be decided the fate of all.

And you will not know this woman, except by the

mark of the moon on her

and she will face treachery, hatred, and pain

but in her is the last hope.

[end Book of Nod fragment]

Weak Circulation

Kindred make little distinction between Caitiff, 14th Generation, 15th Generation and thin-blooded. Even the outcasts themselves rarely make the distinction — when you're perpetually hunted, you don't have time to work out the fine details of who's what. While Kindred don't keep track in game though, it is important to make the distinction out of game.

Caitiff are Clanless vampires. They have no Clan weakness or Disciplines, but instead choose their own three starting Disciplines. In theory any Generation can be Caitiff, but you find them in higher Generations more often than not.

Thin-blooded suffer from weakened vitae, which they cannot use as effectively as other vampires. Any Generation can be thin-blooded in theory, but the condition usually manifests in higher Generations. This weakness can be remedied, at the Storyteller's discretion, by raising your character's Generation through diablerie. In other cases, simply the passage of time allows the blood to stabilize and grow stronger — this is how a 13th Generation thin-blooded Dark Ages character becomes a regular 13th Generation in a modern campaign.

The 14th and 15th Generation suffer from a similar vitae disability, which stems directly from their high Generation. All 15th Generation are considered thin-blooded.

You Are What You Eat

All Kindred, but thin-bloods in particular, find their powers alter with the kind of blood consumed. Feeding exclusively from unseen vagrants for a few nights might temporarily lower difficulty when attempting to Obfuscate, while conversely inhibiting Presence. Learning to change form into that of a bat comes naturally to many among the Gangrel, Nosferatu, Tzimisce, and Ravnos, but a thin-blooded vampire who exclusively consumes the blood of flying mammals becomes one with their prey despite ancestry. Rare mortal blood, such as that of mages, or those with True Faith, can increase Discipline ratings permanently.

Merits and Flaws

The weakening of Caine's Curse leads to additional Flaws and Merits. The ones below all make great picks.

Flaws (V20 p.479-495): Dulled Bite (your character's fangs are as underdeveloped as her vitae), Flaws of healing (your character's vitae is unable to fully reanimate her body, leading to conditions such as Flesh of the Corpse, Open Wound, Permanent Wound, or Smell of the Grave), Flaws of the outcast (your character is a shame to Kindred society and might incur Sire's Resentment, or be Hunted Like a Dog) and Flaws of ignorance (everything your character knows about vampires comes from books and television, and she has internalized stereotypes such as: Can't Cross Running Water, Conspicuous Consumption, Lunacy, Repelled by Crosses, Repulsed by Garlic, Stereotype, or Vulnerability to Silver). Caitiff characters on the edge of being thin-blooded can take Infertile Vitae or Slow Healing.

Merits (V20 p.479-495): Blush of Health, Calm Heart, Deceptive Aura, Early Riser, Eat Food, Inoffensive to Animals, and Light Sleeper are all good Merits for a vampire closer to being human. Medium or Oracular Ability tie in to the thin-blooded proclivity for receiving visions. Lastly, thin-blooded can be Seers, which are detailed below.

Seers

Many thin-blooded receive prophecies about the Jyhad, even if it's involuntary or unwanted. Perhaps their weak vitae traps them in a state between life and unlife, where they see the machinations of elders. One thin-blooded Seer believes her ability stemmed from her delayed Embrace: She experienced the world free from the constraints of time while she was dead, and her prophecies are really flashes of memory.

This talent for prophecy does not endear the thin-blooded to other Kindred. A Seer faces persecution for knowing too much, or simply being scary. Many elders stem from the medieval period, and burning a witch is nothing to them.

Seer (4 pt. Merit)

You have flashes of insight that allow you to see patterns and portents of the Jyhad. Whilst other Kindred live their unlives in ignorant bliss, you feel the full weight of the Ancients bear down on you.

You see patterns in the lines of someone's face, currents of air, or dreams you have during the day. Whilst these patterns are ever present, they are couched in symbolism, and interpreting them requires a [Perception + Occult] roll. The difficulty of this roll varies from six to nine, depending on the complexity of the pattern. Seeing the immediate future is difficulty 7, whilst unraveling diffuse manipulations is difficulty 9. Close familiarity with the people involved, or a recurrence of the same pattern, lowers the difficulty by one. If the roll is successful, the player asks the Storyteller a question about the omens observed. More successes yield more information (i.e. "That man is your enemy" versus "That man is your enemy, because he hates your sire"). Failure yields no information, while a botch yields perfectly believable yet false information.

This Merit grants insight into Cainite affairs only, though these are widespread indeed. Your Storyteller is encouraged to use this Merit to foreshadow events, reveal plot threads, or simply reiterate missed clues. Alternatively, you can ask the Storyteller if you see a pattern around a subject.

You must have the 15th Generation, 16th Generation (see p. XX), or Thin Blood Flaw to purchase and retain this Merit.

The 16th Generation

The 15th has long been the highest Generation of vampires, but the 16th is rising. Here is the Flaw to add the 16th Generation to your campaign.

16th Generation (5 pt. Flaw)

You were created no more than a year ago. Your vitae is so weak only four of your 10 blood points can be used for Disciplines, healing, or raising Attributes. For these functions, you must expend two blood points to obtain the effect a normal vampire would achieve with one. You may use the remaining six blood points for other purposes, and rising still costs a single blood point per night. You cannot create a blood bond or Cainite childe, nor can you create or sustain ghouls.

You are Clanless and do not suffer from a Clan weakness. You select three starting Disciplines freely, but cannot raise any Discipline above two dots. You are likely an outcast of Cainite society and cannot start play with the Domain or Status background.

Barely a vampire, sunlight only causes lethal damage to you and you can attempt to soak it with Stamina. Remaining awake during the day still presents the same difficulties as it does to other Cainites. You gain the effects (though not the actual Merits) of Blush of Health and Eat Food. You can conceive a Dhampir child.

Dhampirs

While exceedingly rare, thin-blooded can conceive mortal children. There's no percentage die or chart to consult on when this happens. When the Storyteller thinks it's dramatically appropriate and the player agrees that such a development enhances her character, the vampire conceives.

Dhampirs are born as fully mortal children. They're quieter than the average baby, and more prone to tantrums as a toddler, but they are human. How the parent handles their little surprise varies. If other Cainites learn of the child though, its life is soon forfeit: A Dhampir is hunted as Masquerade breach by the Camarilla, portent of Gehenna by the Sabbat, or rarity object by anyone. The child's best chance may lie with religious Kindred who view the conception as a sign from God, but who would certainly have their own plans.

The child's Cainite legacy begins to show during puberty, though the exact age varies. Her aging slows (but does not fully halt), she acquires Disciplines and becomes subject to the Beast. At this point, even Cainites who don't know about her heritage recognize her as not quite human. Dhampirs are physically the same as Revenants however, and all but the most knowledgeable Kindred would assume she is a masterless ghoul — which is a little safer than being recognized as a Dhampir.

The emotional aspect (what am I?), the quest for a lost Cainite parent, and the difficulties of navigating a society of sharks when you yourself are a goldfish, all make playing a Dhampir worthwhile. Not every campaign has room for Dhampirs, so the player should consult her Storyteller first.

Dhampir Character Creation and Special Rules

• Attributes: 6/4/3 plus starting dots.

• Abilities: 11/7/5, maximum is 3 dots before spending freebies.

•  Disciplines: Potence 1. Spend 1 additional dot on a Discipline from this list: Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Fortitude, Obfuscate, Presence. Other Disciplines are subject to having an in-character teacher and Storyteller's permission. Dhampirs can never learn more than the first dot of any Discipline.

•  Backgrounds: 5 as applicable to the character.

•  Virtues: 7 plus starting dots.

•  Freebie points: 18, plus a maximum of 7 more from flaws.

•  Humanity: equal to [Conscience + Self-Control]

•  Willpower: equal to [Courage]

•  Blood pool: 10. The Dhampir regenerates 1 blood point per day. She can drink vitae to replenish more quickly, with all the usual effects (i.e. becoming blood bound or a ghoul). The Dhampir can spend all 10 points normally on Healing (1 blood point per bashing or lethal damage, aggravated damage cannot be healed with blood points), Disciplines, and raising Physical Attributes. A Dhampir does not need to spend blood to remain active.

•  A Dhampir uses Stamina to soak bashing and lethal damage, but not aggravated damage.

•  The Dhampir can regenerate lost body parts with a successful Willpower roll (difficulty 8). The cost for this varies from 1 blood point for a finger to 3 blood points for a limb. If the roll fails, it cannot be reattempted and the body part is lost.

•  The Dhampir suffers from Frenzy at -2 difficulty. She is not subject to Rötschrek.

•  The Dhampir spends freebie and experience points like a vampire, with the exception of purchasing Disciplines. Disciplines cost 7 freebie points or 20 experience points per dot, and may never be raised higher than 1.

•  A Dhampir is ultimately mortal rather than vampire. She has no Clan weakness, may not gain vampire-specific Merits or Flaws, and cannot create new Disciplines. Nor can she create blood bonds, ghouls, or childer. She can, however, conceive mortal children, eat food, and walk in sunlight.

•  The Dhampir's vampiric heritage makes it impossible for her to become a changeling, demon, mage, mummy, werewolf, or their related kin. She can however, become a hunter or ghoul, in which case she loses the Dhampir template and assumes the new template as appropriate.

The Hunt for the 16th Generation

When word gets out that a thin-blooded Embraced a 16th Generation, three factions converge on Santa Monica. The first is Jenna Cross, de facto leader and self-sworn protector of thin-blooded. Maxim and her childe were with Jenna for a while, but ran when Netchurch's first invitation (which wasn't Beckett) arrived. Jenna is loath to admit this though, as her ability to protect Maxim serves as a mark of her leadership.

The second party is Dr. Netchurch. While he genuinely believes his test subjects are volunteers, he subconsciously Dominates them into participating. Maxim has “worked” with Netchurch before and escaped when she broke his Conditioning. She has no intention of returning, but if she can negotiate limits to the tests, Netchurch does have the Camarilla backing to protect Maxim and her childe.

The third party is the most exotic: a group of Bahari known as the Daughters of Moira. The Bahari worship Lilith: Mother of Monsters and scorned mentor of Caine. They believe Lilith will destroy Caine and his get and, either out of ideology or self-preservation, have pledged themselves to her cause. They believe Maxim is the Last Daughter of Eve, and plan to convert both her and the “fate” embodied in her childe to the Dark Mother. Like Dr. Netchurch, they can offer protection, but their path is fraught with pain.

Is she?

"Mark of the moon" isn't exactly clear cut. It might refer to a birthmark, or the phase of the moon during birth or Embrace. It could also mean she is a seer, a werewolf descendant, or a member of Clan Malkavian. This ambiguity hasn't stopped scores of Kindred looking for the Last Daughter though. So is Maxim the one?

Perhaps Dr. Netchurch will send Kindred to extend a more forcible invitation after Beckett fails to deliver. Maybe a coterie of Lilith acolytes is eager to prove its worth by snatching the Last Daughter. Perhaps Anarchs striking a bargain with Jenna will seek out the Last Daughter — or set the Camarilla on her, so they can take over her territory. A clutch of thin-blooded would have a personal stake in this plot. They can stick together, or betray Maxim and her childe in exchange for protection from either the Camarilla — negotiated through Netchurch — or the Bahari.